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Monday, May 20, 2024

Bengal PDS case: ED seeks number of active card holders from food department

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sought the details of ration card holders covered under the Public Distribution System (PDS) from the West Bengal Food & Supplies Department in connection with the investigation in the case.

Sources said the ED officials want information on the number of active ration cards in West Bengal.

Sources said this information is extremely necessary for the Investigating Officers since a ration card is rendered inactive if the card-holder does not use it for a certain period of time for purchasing food distributed under PDS.

ED officials want to find out whether food grains have been allotted under any inactive cards, which amounts to irregularities.

Already ED officials are investigating three ways in which irregularities were committed.

The first was the sale of PDS flour and rice in the open market at a premium.

The second was floating of fake farmers’ cooperatives to procure food grains from the producers.

The third method was the purchase of food grains from farmers at costs lower than the Minimum Support Price and their subsequent sale at premium rates in the open market.

Arrested by the ED in the closing quarter of last year, former state Food & Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mallick is serving judicial custody.

Sheikh Shahjahan, the now-suspended Trinamool Congress leader and the mastermind of the attack on ED officials at Sandeshkhali earlier this year, is known to be a close confidant of Mallick.

(This article has been published via a syndicated feed)

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